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The Sacrifice

As we prepare for the Lords supper I want to emphasize the sacrifice of Christ. We miss this because weve been in grace for so long. Jews knew the cost. Two great Jewish feasts were built around sacrifice for sin. The most important occurred in the fall, The Day of Atonement. Tishri 10. Early October by our calendar. Hebrews 9: 1-7. Reference to Lev. 16:12

1 Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. 3 Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, 4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aarons rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail. 6 Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, 7 but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.
Day of Atonement. Once a year general atonement would be made for all people. The High Priest would take a bull and offer it for his sins. He would take the blood of that bull and with his finger, sprinkle it on the East end of the Mercy Seat. The Mercy Seat was the lid to the Ark of the Covenant. Two angels, kneeling, wing tips touching. Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark. That is the ark. The High Priest would take a pair of goats and bring them before the tent of meeting. Lots were cast. The goat which drew the lot was set apart. One goat would then be slaughtered and its blood, like the blood of the bull would be sprinkled on the Mercy Seat.

The priest would then ceremonially lay hands on the other goat and confess the sins of the people on that goat. That goat was released into the wilderness. It became known as the scapegoat. Where we get the idea of someone else suffering unjustly for our crime. The image was that God was removing the sins of the people.

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Why all this talk of blood?

The Day of atonement was a bloody day.

The second feast occurred in the spring. Passover. We celebrated it last Sunday. A lamb was slaughtered and the blood drained from its throat. That blood was then taken to the alter and the father would wipe it on the four corners. The significance is sacrifice for sin. Very bloody. Very ugly. Very brutal. It was a bloody religion. Why? Because God wanted them to see the serious consequences of sin! The wages of Sin is death. That fact has not changed. So why dont we offer sacrifices? Because Jesus already did! Problem with the sacrificial system was that all of those bulls and goats and sheep couldnt really atone for sin. That is the point of Hebrews 9. Look at verse 9.

9 which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,
So God did through His Son what we could never do for ourselves. He became our perfect sacrifice. Verses 11-14. Verse 22.

Hebrews 9:22. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The cup of wine reminds us of the blood. What does the blood do?


The Blood Brings Pardon

The word the bible used is redemption. What that means is God purchased the right to forgive your sins. The process he chooses to use is pardon. Tremendous difference between pardon and acquittal. Pardon implies guilt. God is saying, Even though you are guilty I chose to forgive you. The theological term is Justification. And it doesnt mean Just as if I had never sinned. It means in spite of my sin, and in spite of the fact that I will continue to sin God chooses to pardon my sin and declare me righteous. The term used by Paul to describe this is Imputed

Righteousness. It is a banking term. He credits the righteousness to my eternal bank account. I am not righteous. God declared me so because of the redemption of his son. Purchased with blood. The blood pardons.

So powerful for you who feel dirty. Jesus can make you clean. After that it becomes a life long process that happens every time we confess our sin and return to the Lord.


The Blood Brings Protection


The Blood Brings Purification 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,

Here is where we enjoy once saved always saved. If we are redeemed by the blood of the perfect sacrifice then we are also kept by him as well.

Notice the terminology of Hebrews 9:13.

Verse 12. He entered the Holy Place, Once for all.

Here is where that second Jewish feast, the Passover, has such a profound meaning. Those frightened Jews huddled together in their homes in with no more protection than the blood of the lamb smeared on their doorpost. Outside gliding through the streets and backways the death angel was calling on every home in the land. In every situation the first born was taken. Tens of thousands were dying. Young and old. The cries went up in the night. The Jews braced themselves against the holocaust with only a smattering of blood and a promise, When he sees the blood he will pass over. And for every Jew who believed enough to smear the blood on their door God kept his word. Look at verse 27-28.

Sanctify means, to make holy. Sanctification is the process where the imputed righteousness of Christ becomes the imparted righteousness of Christ. What God has declared becomes a reality. Another way of expressing it is Cleansing. Verse 14. See that. Interesting and odd sort of twist, blood cleanses.

14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Powerful metaphor because that is exactly what human blood does in the body. It cleanses. God knew that years before the scientists discovered it. But more importantly, the blood is a symbol for the purifying aspect of redemption that Jesus did on the cross. You are cleansed. Purified. This is both a one time event and a life long process It is a one time event in that when you accept Christ by faith you are purified. Every sin is forgiven and you are clean.

27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
When he sees the blood of Jesus applied to the life of the believer by an act of faith, he will pass over their sins. They will be protected by the blood. You didnt earn it. You cant lose it. We are kept by the power of God.